Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Comic Book Wednesday: Colossus needs a Hug

We're going with the three short reviews this week. Finally, after all that blog class stuff, we can get back to something normal: Post-apocalyptic worlds, men who are also spiders, and mutants who need turn that down-under frown upside-down.

Final Crisis: Resist.
by Greg Rucka and Eric Trautman. Checkmate survivors rally together to plan a desperate last ditch attack on Darkseid. A good issue, and, depending on what's done with it, an important issue in the overall Final Crisis story. It's showing the kind of desperation that an event this big SHOULD be doing a lot more of, and and doesn't get too boggled down in the details. If you've been following Final Crisis, you should be able to follow this, although to get the most out of it, you really need to be a Checkmate fan. Trautman's art is a little rough, but doesn't detract from the story.

X-Men and Spider-Man 1 of 4. Christos Gage and Mario Alberti. In this first issue set in the halycon pre-Gwen Stacey's death days, after Kraven the Hunter declares Spider-Man a mutant on national television, Spider-Man and the X-Men team up to fight him and a mystery villain. Ok, it's the Blob. The six - on -two fight goes pretty much as you'd expect, but a second mystery villain shows up about a decade early, which creates some interest for issue 2. Alberti's art is a little distracting, but Gage does a good job utilizing both the X-Men and Spider-Man's early characterizations. The only thing I don't think they quite answered is why--rather than a fun trip down memory lane, these characters have gone so far from this point of history, it's rather jarring to see things "as they used to be." A flashback series needs a clearer framing for why this story is worth telling, and so far, we've just got a mild hint.

X-Men Manifest Destiny 3 of 4. Manifest Destiny is basically a miniseries about telling minor stories about various X-Characters--so a pretentiously big title with very small ambitions. The first story is a continuation of Iceman's fight against Mystique. Iceman explains how he got out of the last cliffhanger, then gets into a new cliffhanger. Continued next issue! In the second story, we get Graymalkin's mutant origin story, which is the usual prosecution, but with a bit of buried-alive-by-your-father added on. And in the third and best story, the X-Men try to cheer Colossus up after the certain death of his girlfriend Kitty. Aside from the fact that, as one character notes, Colossus has pretty much been depressed continually for the past ten years and nothing's really done any good, and the fact that Wolverine probably isn't in character when he's spearheading a "feel-good" movement, it's the kind of minor teammate plot that I wish the X-Men series proper hadn't given up years ago in exchange for nonsensical stories involving hippies and gender-swapping super villains.

Each entry seems to be getting progressively longer. I think it's wise to stop with three.

Later Days.

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